Stock Traders Buy High Volume of Put Options on Grand Canyon Education (LOPE)

Grand Canyon Education Inc (NASDAQ:LOPE) was the target of some unusual options trading activity on Wednesday. Stock traders bought 978 put options on the stock. This represents an increase of 1,360% compared to the typical daily volume of 67 put options.

In related news, insider Joseph N. Mildenhall sold 19,900 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction dated Monday, May 20th. The shares were sold at an average price of $113.95, for a total transaction of $2,267,605.00. Following the completion of the sale, the insider now owns 84,709 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $9,652,590.55. The transaction was disclosed in a document filed with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available at the SEC website. Also, insider Joseph N. Mildenhall sold 5,000 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction dated Monday, March 4th. The stock was sold at an average price of $118.44, for a total transaction of $592,200.00. Following the sale, the insider now directly owns 78,659 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $9,316,371.96. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders sold 100,900 shares of company stock worth $11,795,365 over the last 90 days. 2.00% of the stock is currently owned by corporate insiders.

A number of large investors have recently added to or reduced their stakes in the business. FMR LLC lifted its holdings in shares of Grand Canyon Education by 47.0% in the 1st quarter. FMR LLC now owns 3,493,165 shares of the company’s stock worth $400,002,000 after purchasing an additional 1,116,492 shares in the last quarter. ArrowMark Colorado Holdings LLC lifted its stake in Grand Canyon Education by 29.9% during the 1st quarter. ArrowMark Colorado Holdings LLC now owns 2,677,670 shares of the company’s stock valued at $306,620,000 after acquiring an additional 616,359 shares in the last quarter. Norges Bank bought a new position in Grand Canyon Education during the 4th quarter valued at $45,852,000. Wellington Management Group LLP raised its stake in shares of Grand Canyon Education by 11.4% during the 1st quarter. Wellington Management Group LLP now owns 1,759,430 shares of the company’s stock worth $201,472,000 after purchasing an additional 179,915 shares during the period. Finally, Handelsbanken Fonder AB raised its stake in shares of Grand Canyon Education by 10.4% during the 4th quarter. Handelsbanken Fonder AB now owns 1,341,374 shares of the company’s stock worth $128,960,000 after purchasing an additional 126,084 shares during the period. 96.25% of the stock is owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.

LOPE has been the subject of several recent analyst reports. Zacks Investment Research raised shares of Grand Canyon Education from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $128.00 price objective for the company in a research report on Tuesday, April 2nd. ValuEngine raised shares of Grand Canyon Education from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating in a research report on Friday, February 22nd. Barrington Research reaffirmed a “buy” rating and set a $135.00 price objective on shares of Grand Canyon Education in a research report on Friday, February 8th. BidaskClub raised shares of Grand Canyon Education from a “sell” rating to a “hold” rating in a research report on Tuesday, April 30th. Finally, BMO Capital Markets upped their price objective on shares of Grand Canyon Education to $130.00 and gave the stock an “outperform” rating in a research report on Friday, February 22nd. One analyst has rated the stock with a hold rating and six have issued a buy rating to the company’s stock. Grand Canyon Education currently has an average rating of “Buy” and an average price target of $133.20.

NASDAQ:LOPE opened at $115.97 on Thursday. The company has a market cap of $5.56 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 22.78, a PEG ratio of 1.37 and a beta of 0.99. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.17, a current ratio of 1.57 and a quick ratio of 1.57. Grand Canyon Education has a fifty-two week low of $90.67 and a fifty-two week high of $130.10.

Grand Canyon Education (NASDAQ:LOPE) last released its earnings results on Tuesday, May 7th. The company reported $1.62 earnings per share for the quarter, beating analysts’ consensus estimates of $1.49 by $0.13. The business had revenue of $197.29 million during the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $195.60 million. Grand Canyon Education had a net margin of 29.80% and a return on equity of 21.50%. The company’s revenue for the quarter was down 28.4% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same quarter in the prior year, the firm posted $1.52 EPS. On average, sell-side analysts expect that Grand Canyon Education will post 5.24 EPS for the current year.

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About Grand Canyon Education

Grand Canyon Education, Inc provides education services in the United States. It offers technology and academic, counseling and support, and marketing and communication services, as well as back office services, such as financial aid processing, accounting, reporting, tax, human resources, and procurement services to the Grand Canyon University.

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